Debbie Lyons-Blythe, White City, Kansas, has been named Monsanto's 2012 America's Farmers Mom of the Year regional winner for the Southwest. One of five regional winners, Lyons-Blythe was selected by judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto in recognition of the contributions she makes to her family, farm, community and the agricultural industry. Along with the four other regional winners, Lyons-Blythe's nomination will be featured on www.AmericasFarmers.com until May 12, where online voting will determine the national winner.
Debbie and her family run Blythe Angus, near White City, where her husband's family homesteaded in 1890. Today, they raise 250 registered Angus cows and sell registered bulls. In addition, they operate a commercial heifer development program and grow diversified crops, including hay, for their cowherd. All five of her children work on the ranch and her husband works in town, but Debbie provides the primary daily labor on the ranch.
"It means a lot to me to have my family be so supportive of my efforts in our operation, as well as of my work advocating for agriculture," she says. "I'm humbled to be singled out, because there are so many farm moms out there who work every day to build a legacy for their children. I'm proud to represent the Southwest region!"
Nominations were submitted on each regional winner's behalf by a friend, family member or loved one who shared a brief essay telling judges about their favorite farm mom and why she should be "America's Famers Mom of the Year." Each regional winner received a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto. The farm mom receiving the most online votes by May 12 will receive an additional $5,000 and the national title, to be announced on Mother's Day.
"Debbie Lyons-Blythe, along with our other regional winners, personifies a passion for agriculture and the farming lifestyle," says Consuelo Madere, America's Farmers Mom of the Year spokesperson. "It's an honor to recognize her for all she does to support agriculture and to reinforce within her community that the food on grocery store shelves is grown in the fields of rural America."
In the nomination they submitted on their mother's behalf, children Meghan, Allie, Trenton, Tyler and Eric wrote, "It doesn't take long to figure out what is in her heart…Her love for agriculture is evident when reading her blog, hearing her speeches and seeing her work." Her nomination is posted in its entirety at AmericasFamers.com.
Monsanto's America's Farmers Mom of the Year is an extension of the America's Farmers program, which celebrates the contributions of America's farmers, who provide food, energy and clothing for a growing planet. Visit AmericasFarmers.com to vote for the 2012 national farm mom winner and to read about other ways Monsanto is recognizing the contributions of American farmers.